NPR Under Fire For Calling Woman A Rape “Survivor” Despite Settlement In Favor Of The Accused Columbia Student

NPRLogoWe recently discussed the case of Emma Sulkowicz who gained fame as the “Mattress Girl” for her protest about the handling of her alleged rape by another Columbia student. Columbia not only cleared the male student,Paul Nungesser, of charges but the police refused to bring criminal charges.  Columbia recently settled a civil action brought by the male student and reaffirmed that it found no evidence supporting discipline for sexual assault.  Now,  the Boston-based National Public Radio  station is under fire for a story byNPR correspondent Tovia Smith that continued to refer to Sulkowicz as a “survivor” despite the countervailing findings of the university under the lower “preponderance of the evidence” standard advocated by the Obama Administration. The reference also indicated that Nungesser had indeed raped her.  While the declination to punish Nungesser by the school or the declination to prosecute him does not mean that no rape occurred, it does show that there was insufficient evidence against Nungesser who has always maintained his innocence.

 The story for NPR’s “All Things Considered,” examined a new program called “restorative justice” at schools where the focus is on the harm done “and finding ways to repair it” instead of “judging or punishing the perpetrator.”

Sulkowicz, who carried around a mattress on campus as her protest, was referenced as a “survivor.”

Even under the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights’ interpretation of Title IX rules, established under then-President Barack Obama, involving a low “preponderance of the evidence” standard for adjudication, Sulkowicz’s complaint did not result in any punishment.

After the outcry, NPR added a clarification to the online version of the story (and it is also posted on the online transcript):

“This story refers to Emma Sulkowicz as a survivor of sexual assault, as she considers herself to be. The accused in her case was found not responsible by a campus adjudication process.”

The reaction of many ranged from deeper confusion to greater outrage.  NPR was suggesting that merely calling yourself a rape survivor warrants the media to use that self-adopted description.  However, that description says that someone else is a rapist and further detaches the reporter from confining reporting to known facts (or to use qualifers).

Later the NPR ombudsman agreed with critics and conveyed a new position of the NPR editors:

Critics were right to be upset. Even though Nungesser was not named in the piece, Sulkowicz and her comment were included, and no mention was made of the outcome of the accusations, even though she was described as a “survivor.”

Newsroom executives told me that they turned to Sulkowicz as an advocate and activist who could speak on how campuses resolve charges of sexual assault. The story did not include details because NPR specifically did not want to reopen the case.

But by calling her a “survivor” and including her comment, NPR did partially reopen the case, however inadvertently. NPR should have anticipated that her story would distract from the main thrust of the piece. It would have been better to find a different interviewee to express qualms about restorative justice in sexual assault cases.

Vickie Walton-James, NPR’s supervising senior editor for national news, agreed, telling me: “In retrospect, maybe she’s not the one we should have used, because she’s become a lightning rod. Her inclusion in the story has distracted from the broader issue of restorative justice.” She added, “It goes without saying there was no intent to be unfair here,” pointing to Smith’s “balanced and outstanding body of work on the issue of campus sexual assault.” Smith, she said (and I agree), “has been out front on the issue of due process rights of the accused and the fairness of campus proceedings.

Notably, however, there is no criticism of the reporting or reporter beyond referring to this error as “inadvertent.”  The deeper concern is with how such stories are reported and the general failure to afford the accused the same level of protection as the accuser.  Accused parties are routinely named as alleged rapists while the names of the alleged victim are withheld. More generally, there has been a comparatively little attention to the due process concerns raised by the Obama Administration initiative.

It was good for NPR to address the issue and there should not be a pile on for the misuse of a single descriptive noun.  However, the response reflects the frustration of some with coverage of this area.

What do you think?

 

112 thoughts on “NPR Under Fire For Calling Woman A Rape “Survivor” Despite Settlement In Favor Of The Accused Columbia Student

  1. The professor notes:

    “… the case of Emma Sulkowicz who gained fame as the “Mattress Girl”…

    Was it public and media attention or “fame?”
    Has fame and attention become the same?

    “… Columbia not only cleared the male student,Paul Nungesser, of charges but the police refused to bring criminal charges.  Columbia recently settled a civil action brought by the male student and reaffirmed that it found no evidence supporting discipline for sexual assault…”

    Was the “Mattress Girl” ever the plaintiff in a civil case for damages?
    If not, why not?
    Did “Mattress Girl” not want the public attention or her private life made public?

    “… Boston-based National Public Radio  station …”

    What is public about “NPR?”
    What is national about NPR?”
    Does “NPR” receive tax dollars from the Federal government?
    If so, how much? What percentage of its income is Federal tax dollars?

    “… correspondent Tovia Smith that continued to refer to Sulkowicz as a “survivor” despite the countervailing findings of the university under the lower “preponderance of the evidence” standard advocated by the Obama Administration…”

    The word “survivor” means what? Implies what? References what?

    The Federal government creates a low(er) standard of proof then then the criminal standard for rape. But, the accused is identified as an alleged rapist, but no mention is made of the findings of the “University,” Police or that the alleged rapist filed a civil action against the “University.”

    Remind me, did “Mattress Girl” file a civil action?

    “… The reference also indicated that Nungesser had indeed raped her.”

    “… “reference” … “indicated” … are these words of legal training or mealy mouth words to avoid concrete, clear, direct and simple meaning?

    “… new program called “restorative justice” at schools where the focus is on the harm done “and finding ways to repair it” instead of “judging or punishing the perpetrator.”

    “… “restorative justice” … is this doublespeak or newspeak?
    Does restorative mean or imply some harm or damage was done?
    If so, by whom?

    “… Sulkowicz’s complaint did not result in any punishment.”…

    Mr. Paul Nungesser may not agree with the professor’s “conclusion.”
    How does “restorative justice” apply as to Mr. Paul Nungesser?

    “… Newsroom executives told me that they turned to Sulkowicz as an advocate and activist who could speak on how campuses resolve charges of sexual assault. The story did not include details because NPR specifically did not want to reopen the case…”

    “… as advocate and activist …”, but certainly not as a rape victim.
    “… story did not include detail …”
    A close friend who was news director for the number 1 TV news program in the San Francisco Bay Area more than once told me, “You never want the facts to get in the way of a good story!”

    “… But by calling her a “survivor” and including her comment, NPR did partially reopen the case, however inadvertently…”
    Do the words “partially” or “inadvertently” seem reasonable, fair, just or, forgive me, accurate?
    Did the professor “investigate” the “story” in talking to the “newsroom executives” or did he become a purveyor of or participant in “telling the story?”

    “… It was good for NPR to address the issue and there should not be a pile on for the misuse of a single descriptive noun.  However, the response reflects the frustration of some with coverage of this area.”

    Does professor now become an advocate ( perhaps an unfamiliar and unaccustomed activity ) when he admonishes “… there should not be a pile on…”?

    Does the professor or, more importantly, does the listener or reader reasonably and justly find the story fails or propagandizes with the “… misuse of a single descriptive noun …”?

    The manufacture of consent
    for Operation Iraq Liberation ( yes, that was the origin label by the military and the Bush administration ), among other reasons, long ago demonstrated NPR stands for National Propaganda Radio.
    dennis hanna

  2. Oh, and FWIW, I have said before that NPR is like the epitome of a White Privilege website. I love it. Opera, classics, non threatening blues, and even a Prairie Home Companion. Although I haven’t listened to PHC for a few months. Also, they have Sunday Morning Baroque, and even church music. The hosts are all insipid little twerp types, probably the kind of people who make up the Unitarians. The station is sooo white. Here, the PBS folks air old Lawrence Welk reruns, and those are fun to put on in the background. Which, there is nothing wrong with being an Eloi, and it is a quite nice pleasant little lifestyle. If it just weren’t for those pesky Morlocks.

    I have a friend who lives near Berkeley, and she tells me I should move out there. It does sound nice, the way she describes it. But I keep seeing a scenario where Oakland invades the place via BART and razes it to the ground and capture all the White Women for sex slaves and stuff.

    Sooo, I think it safer to be around well-armed Southerners with 4 wheel drive trucks and a bug out bag. Wahoooo!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  3. Jt INCORRECTLY states the following: “While the declination to punish Nungesser by the school or the declination to prosecute him does not mean that no rape occurred, it does show that there was insufficient evidence against Nungesser who has always maintained his innocence.”

    Wrong! When there is no prosecution, that does NOT mean that “there was insufficient evidence.” There could be PLENTY of evidence, but, for various political reasons, there is no prosecution. For example, the accused could have high political connections that enable the accused to evade the law through protection at high places. Or, there could be simply corruption. In this Columbia University case, we don’t know why there was no prosecution. There could be MANY reasons and the purported lack of evidence could only be one of many.

    Take the case by Andrea Constrand against Bill Cosby. Although Cosby recently got his hung-jury, thanks to some star-struck juror, the case was actually DECLINED many years ago by the Montgomery County District Attorney from Pennsylvania, who was Bruce Castor. Castor’s failure to prosecute Cosby hasn’t been widely publicized. The mansion that Cosby bought in Montgomery County, PA that Cosby subsequently used to commit his alleged criminal act against Andrea Constand was sold by Bruce Castor’s FATHER on behalf of the original owner at a steep DISCOUNT to market price. DA Bruce Castor never disclosed that fact to Constrand’s attorney even though it could represent a conflict of interest. Moreover, Castor never even looked into the evidence and merely dismissed Constrand as a credible witness without any basis for doing so and in contradiction to the proper legal procedure.

    In other words, merely because Castor wanted to remain on good terms with celebrity Cosby, he DECLINED to prosecute. It had NOTHING to do with any lack of evidence.

    Here’s a blog reference about this little-covered part of the Cosby story. And ignore commentator Beldar’s snide remarks about former attorney Joseph Lawless (who authored Prosecutorial Misconduct, one of the leading legal texts on the subject). History has proven Lawless to be correct and Beldar to be wrong.

    http://beldar.blogs.com/beldarblog/2005/02/if_theres_no_fi.html

  4. I agree that it was not “inadvertent” and it was not unintentional. NPR has a standards and practices editor to guide these kinds of sensitive word choices.

    “Newsroom executives told me that they turned to Sulkowicz as an advocate and activist who could speak on how campuses resolve charges of sexual assault.” —- then why not refer to her in the story as “an activist” or “an advocate”? Instead they chose to refer to her as a sexual assault “survivor” and include a comment she made about an unnamed “sadist” that was assumed to be a reference to Nungesser.

    “It goes without saying there was no intent to be unfair here” — no, NPR, it doesn’t.

  5. Some organizations just cannot let go of their preconceived and deeply held beliefs. And, their reluctance to do otherwise to them seems dreadful that they can be wrong.

  6. Part of this is a no-brainer and part of this points out an important fact concerning rape victims. First to address the no-brainer: NPR had plenty of people to choose from to illustrate their story. Because there is doubt surrounding this woman’s story, unless NPR wanted to go into all the aspects surrounding her story, then they should have chosen a different story to illustrate their point. In this particular case there are multiple accusations against the accused. The school appears to have acted very badly in its investigation and we do not know what actually happened except that the school dismissed the accusations.

    Simply because the school dismissed the allegations does not negate them. After all, we have many instances where authorities, for example Catholic church “leaders” and the police knew very well that priests had in fact molested children, yet they actively covered over the abuse and attacked the victim instead. So it is not necessarily the case that having one’s account disregarded by authorities means it didn’t happen.

    No one believed Jerry Sandusky had done anything wrong, yet clearly he had been committing rape for years with school officials knowingly covering for him. This is not uncommon and it is a story worth pursuing in itself. Often victims are trashed and perpetrators are lionized, their crimes covered over, etc. We need to ask why this is so. However, this was not NPR’s story.

    NPR failed to fairly represent the complexity of this situation. They should have done so. What their actions will lead to is hatred of rape victims and more accusations that rape victims are liars. That’s a real shame as so many victims already stay silent as they know our society tends to believe they are liars.

    We don’t really know what happened in this case. Another case should have been presented to make NPR’s point or they needed to be honest about how complex this particular case actually is.

    • In this particular case there are multiple accusations against the accused.

      No, Sulkowicz inveigled two other women into making a complaint against him. The essence of their complaints was that he was fresh with them.

      • Well, it’s just a matter of time before that becomes a crime, too. Witness this:

        Amsterdam, the largest city in the Netherlands and once a mecca for those interested in pot and prostitution, is in the process of criminalizing men approaching women. Though the Netherlands has enjoyed a reputation as a liberal country sans the SJW extremism of Scandinavia, this might be about to change.

        The new laws in Amsterdam are aimed at male actions that “frighten” women, according to one of the lawmakers responsible. This kind of highly subjective test, in an age where women write 2,000 word diatribes on “manspreading” on public transportation, is ripe for abuse and overuse.

        In Rotterdam, the Netherlands’ second city, large fines and even jail time await a man who cat-calls or “bothers a woman in any way.” The test is also painfully subjective and shows no indication that it will rely on proper evidence, only the he-said-she-said calculations already capable of sending men to prison for decades after poorly-argued rape allegations.

        As I brought you last year, the English city of Nottingham now defines unwanted male approaches of women as a “hate crime.” Expect many more cities, if not entire legal jurisdictions, to follow suit. Totalitarian lawmakers will use different words and legal formulas to criminalize men approaching women, but the intentions and many of the pernicious results will be the same.

        http://www.returnofkings.com/126156/new-amsterdam-law-criminalizes-the-act-of-unsuccessfully-flirting-with-women-in-public

        There is more at the link, but readers should be aware that’s a very non-politically correct website, and feminists are likely to get their pantaloons in a wad there.

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

    • Simply because the school dismissed the alllegations does not negate them.

      Yes it does, Jill. She could not satisfy a modest standard of proof in front of what were almost certainly sympathetic officials and they settled out of court with him because his lawyers had a bevy of evidence that her story was cock-and-bull.

      • The text messages from Ms. S. after the event are extremely strong evidence there was no rape. So does the payout by Columbia, with a statement that the man was not responsible.

    • for example Catholic church “leaders” and the police knew very well that priests had in fact molested children, yet they actively covered over the abuse and attacked the victim instead.

      The median lapse of time between supposed incident and the accusation reaching the bishop was in the Diocese of Syracuse 17 years (prior to 2001) and over 30 years (for the accusations which came out of the woodwork in 2002). Its the same story elsewhere. Few accusations arrived within a time frame wherein anyone could proceed with a prosecution and the properties of the evidence against the priests in question made it difficult to garner convictions even when a prosecution was not time-barred. Your real complaint is that Catholic dioceses and religious orders did not publish their personnel files. Well, no, employers do not.

    • NPR failed to fairly represent the complexity of this situation. They should have done so. What their actions will lead to is hatred of rape victims and more accusations that rape victims are liars. That’s a real shame as so many victims already stay silent as they know our society tends to believe they are liars.

      Very well put with a minor quibble. Even if such actions don’t lead all to hatred of rape victims, they will lead many to undue suspicion and doubt which will have the same effect as you describe.

      On the other hand, NPR shouldn’t do stories on anything. They have lost all credibility and do harm to everything they touch. Even the Boston Rag, er, Globe gets it right once in a while.

  7. National Parasite Radio (NPR) is unconstitutional. If America had an objective, apolitical, un-corrupted Supreme Court, unconstitutional would be NPR’s current status.

    Congress may not tax to compel Americans to fund NPR as that taxation does not provide for the General Welfare. No form of redistribution of wealth for Individual Welfare is constitutional and is in violation of Article 1, Section 8 and the right of Americans to private property, which James Madison defined as “that dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in exclusion of every other individual.”
    ____________________________________________________________________________________

    Article 1, Section 8

    “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes,…to…provide for the…general Welfare.”

  8. “NPR was suggesting that merely calling yourself a rape survivor warrants the media to use that self-adopted description.” Of course it does. NPR is no longer the National “Public” Radio; it’s the National Liberal Radio, funded in part by taxpayers.

    So obviously a woman can declare herself a rape victim and smear a man’s name without evidence. People can declare they are anything they want, including Mermaids…literally.

    I do not believe that universities should handle these claims of sexual assault. They should be referred to law enforcement, and any punishment of the alleged perpetrator should be evidence based, dependent upon a criminal investigation by the authorities.

    The very reason why we have a legal criminal process is because unscrupulous, immoral people will make up stories for revenge, entertainment, or just because.

    Rape is a very serious, soul killing crime. It should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and those who are found to have fabricated an accusation of rape, rather than merely being unable to prove their case, should also be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. In my own humble opinion, the punishment for a proven case of malicious false accusation of rape should be the same sentence as a rapist would receive. I have no sympathy for those who would steal the pity and support away from real victims of rape.

    Nungesser should sue NPR for slander.

    This also reminds me of why taxpayers should not be forced to support the NPR, unless we make it equal and conservative talk radio gets taxpayer support, as well. I’ve been disappointed in NPR and PBS. I want access to culture, music, art…not listen to Liberal politics. If I want Liberal politics I pop into HuffPo or MSNBC.

    I have the same problem with the National Parks System, Sierra Club, and all the other environmental organizations that instead have unabashedly become Democratic PACs relentlessly sending me Republican-bashing propaganda. It is distasteful when environmentalist and the arts have become unwelcoming to anyone who is not ultra Liberal; both should be open to all.

  9. I don’t remember the intrepid investigation by PBS or NPR into whether or not there were weapons of mass destruction or, instead weapons of mass deception in our WH and our press.

    I don’t remember the intrepid investigation by PBS or NPR into the fact that Obama secretly tossed out the “Strong Public Option” early on in secret meetings with the Insurance giants, nor do I recall their revealing to the public that the insurance giants themselves were the ones that drafted 95% of that odious back room deal.

    I don’t remember the intrepid investigation by PBS or NPR into why not a single banker or head of a financial institution that knowingly ripped the public off with liar loans and every manner of illegal forclosure tricks such as robo-signing ever went to jail, nor why they were instead rewarded with giant infusions of bail out cash from the government that largely went to unheard of bonuses for the executives or was invested in overseas companies or simply dumped in offshore accounts to avoid taxes. Nor any reporting about the public caught up in those scams nor that they were often left to be illegally evicted from their homes. Rewards for the banks, punishment for the duped mortgage holders. All good to PBS and NPR.

    I don’t remember the intrepid investigation by PBS or NPR into Obama’s (or his administration) illegal renditions of foreigners to countries that permitted torture where they were tortured by the agencies of those countries with representatives of the CIA present (in consultation).

    I don’t remember the intrepid investigation by PBS or NPR into Obama’s assassination of American citizens as well as others by drone without any recourse to judicial review other than a secret advice panel followed by Obama’s ultimate and final decision over life and death.

    I don’t remember the intrepid investigation by PBS or NPR into Obama’s toxic bevy of trade deals that would have sold off our national sovereignty for the benefit of giant corporations and thier right to make a profit above citizens right to have safe food, water, and living conditions.

    I don’t remember the intrepid investigation by PBS or NPR into Obama’s effective elimination of the right of habeas corpus to challenge the legitimacy of one’s arrest.

    I don’t remember the intrepid reporting by PBS or NPR on the subject of Hillary’s costly fiasco in Libia, nor the legitimacy of our sanctions on Russia nor the insidious involvement of the US in the overthrow of a duly elected president in Ukrain nor the fact the the US sponsored downright terrorists in Syria in it’s savage attempt to overthrow their duly elected President nor on the fact that the accusations about Bashar al-Assad poisoning his people were either entirely or largely fabricated in the US as part of its overthrow propaganda initiative nor on the fact that President Trump’s bombing of an air port was patently in retaliation for a non proven and un-established (fabricated) evidence for which there is still absolutely not a shred of concrete evidence.

    And then how many stories did PBS or NPR do on the crowds that overwhelmed Bernie Sanders, did they even mention him at all?, or the incredible voter manipulation by Hillary or the DNC during the primaries, did they mention any of this other than in patronizing way they have of deriding anything that might upset the neoliberal and neoconservative apple cart?

    Perhaps I just missed it, or perhaps PBS and NPR are pathetic sycophants just begging to do the propaganda bidding of the establishment as long as they can fabricate a few stories about identity politics along the way.

    • And if, by accident of fate, there is substance to this story, PBS and/or NPR are the last, the very last ones who have any right to stand up on any high horse and pass judgement, implicit or otherwise.

  10. Are you attempting to argue that the matters you cite are proof that this woman wasn’t raped by the man she accuses, or is this just a shot at NPR? The University not going forward with the woman’s claim doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. It may simply mean that all things considered, there was not sufficient proof to devote resources toward fighting this matter. Rapes don’t happen in the public square at high noon. They almost always boil down to he said-she said, but even if the woman is less credible, it doesn’t mean she wasn’t raped. Paying off the so-called perpetrator is not proof that he didn’t do it–such matters are business decisions–the decision that it was cheaper to settle than litigate. The decision to settle rather than proceed with expensive litigation is a decision that is made every single day in many types of cases. Concern about the ability to prevail in court is not the same thing as proof that the incident complained of did not happen, but isn’t the real purpose of this piece to throw red meat at the Chump supporters who read this blog in the form of drumming up support for Chump’s reduction in public funding to NPR and other entities?

    • Are you attempting to argue that the matters you cite are proof that this woman wasn’t raped by the man she accuses, or is this just a shot at NPR? The University not going forward with the woman’s claim doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I

      Is there any s*** sandwich you won’t eat?

      They settled out of court with him for a reason, and those reasons are delineated in the briefs. She had perfectly congenial exchanges with him on multiple occasions after he ‘assaulted’ her. You’re also neglecting the import of the disciplinary investigation: a preponderance of the evidence indicated that he DID NOT engage in sexual misconduct as defined in their disciplinary manuals. Even under the exceedingly relaxed standards that the Office for Civil Rights was promoting, she could not persuade their internal examiners.

      https://kcjohnson.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/nungesser-complaint.pdf

      • Were there witnesses to the actual act itself, other than the woman and man? If not, then it was he said-she said, and after-the-fact conduct proves nothing. Rape victims do try to bury the incident because it is hard to cope with someone taking your body against your will, so they attempt to continue life as before, but reality comes crashing in on them sooner or later. Who are you or anyone else to decide what is appropriate conduct after a rape? This was a business decision, and yes, Jon is just throwing red meat at Chump supporters.

        You probably don’t have a problem with Chump’s genital-grabbing behavior, either.

        • If not, then it was he said-she said, and after-the-fact conduct proves nothing.

          It demonstrates something, which is that he did nothing to her she found upsetting . It’s just something you find inconvenient to acknowledge.

          Incorporated into your silly serial rants is the notion that we’re obligated to take Sulkowicz seriously unless there is security camera video of all of their sexual encounters. That’s just silly.

    • Well, the DA declining to prosecute is one sign that it didn’t happen. Sulkowicz claimed she was punched in the face, choked, and pinned by her arms while she was violently raped. She claimed she was covered in bruises on her face, neck, and arms. And yet she saw friends later and seemed fine, with no bruises in sight. Then she kept up a friendly Facebook friendship with him for the rest of the night and afterwards.

      Sorry, but at some point it goes from not able to be proven to fabricated or at least embellished.

  11. “calling yourself a rape survivor warrants the media to use that self-adopted description”

    Why the outrage? These days one needs to merely call oneself a man or woman–even if you don’t have the right chromosomes or organs–obligates everyone else to play along.

  12. What a coinkydink with her name being “SULK owicz”! Was she just the typical scorned woman, and Heck had no fury like her? Anyway, all this sexual trope stuff needs an Irish Poem:

    Fatale Attraction???
    An Irish Poem by Squeeky Fromm

    There once was a coed named Emma,
    And her college, it faced a dilemma!
    Did Nungesser rape?
    Or was it a jape?
    I suggest that we cherchez la femme’. . .

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    Note. The term “cherchez la femme” is French for “look for the woman”, because she probably done it. Here is a brief excerpt, and link that explains more about the origins of the phrase from Alexander Dumas, who was also known as “Pear Dumas”, because of his rotund shape. Anyway,

    ‘Cherchez la femme’ is sometimes mistakenly thought to refer to men’s attempts to pursue romantic liaisons with women. In fact, the phrase, which is occasionally used in its loose English translation ‘look for the woman’, expresses the idea that the source of any given problem involving a man is liable to be a woman.

    http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/cherchez-la-femme.html

    • This is exactly the purpose for and reason for this piece: so you Chump supporters won’t be offended by cutting subsidies to NPR and other things, like Sesame Street.

      • Natacha – Sesame Street is a for profit business working for under public television. BTW, the alphabet has not changed since they started the program. They could have been in re-runs, but for the profit motive of the Cookie Monster.

        • Good point. They’ve got 48 years of programming. One of the original cast members (not a puppeteer) is 85 years old and only retired last year.

      • The Children’s Television Workshop can hit up the bloody NGOs. They’ve had 50 years to build a fundraising network. They could even ask state and local governments to pitch in.

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